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Missouri Department of Transportation

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MoDOT News Release 

For more information contact Jeff Briggs at 573-751-5985.

October 04, 2007 12:00 AM
MoDOT Completes Inspections of Minneapolis-Style Bridges; All Are Safe

JEFFERSON CITY - Thorough inspections of Missouri bridges similar in design to the Minneapolis bridge that collapsed two months ago are complete, and all are confirmed to be safe to cross.

Missouri Department of Transportation inspectors conducted complete inspections of the 11 bridges in the state with the deck truss design used in Minneapolis, and coordinated with neighboring states to inspect three additional deck truss bridges under their jurisdiction. Inspections began the morning after the Aug. 1 Minneapolis bridge collapse, as requested by Gov. Matt Blunt.

"The tragedy in Minnesota was an important reminder that we must continue to be diligent to protect the safety of Missourians and others who travel our roads, bridges and highways," Gov. Blunt said. "I am pleased with MoDOT's quick response to my directive to immediately evaluate and inspect bridges in Missouri and accept their report.

"I am also pleased that the General Assembly moved quickly in the special session to expedite our innovative plan to replace or repair more than 800 Missouri bridges. Our Safe & Sound Bridge Improvement Plan has become a national model for other states seeking to improve their transportation infrastructure."

Quick action on these bridges was critical, said MoDOT Director Pete Rahn. "We're grateful for the governor's leadership in making sure these bridges are safe. The goal of our bridge inspection program is to make sure any bridge that's open is safe to drive across. After what happened in Minnesota, we needed to look again to confirm these bridges' safety."

Substantial wear was found on several of the 14 bridges - not surprising, considering their age. "Our inspections showed quite a bit of rust and other deterioration, which is typical for these older bridges," said State Bridge Maintenance Engineer Carl Callahan. "In a few cases we made repairs right away, but in most cases there was no immediate action needed, so we'll schedule maintenance as soon as possible to make sure they stay safe."

The average age of the 14 deck truss bridges is 70 years old.

Each of the bridges received an in-depth inspection of all its support structures using a Snooper truck - a large truck with a huge mechanical arm that carries inspectors under the bridge. This allowed them to get a close-up look at all important structural features, such as piers, supporting beams, the steel truss and its joints, and other load-bearing parts. Each of these in-depth inspections took several days to complete.

All of Missouri's bridges are inspected every two years - more frequently if needed. There are more than 10,000 bridges on the state highway system.

Here are inspection summaries on the 14 deck truss bridges in Missouri:

Bridge Inspection Schedule and Results (Excel File)

CountyRouteDescriptionYearCondition RatingsInspection Date / Results
Buchanan59Atchison1938646Inspected by Kansas; no major findings.
Butler60Poplar Bluff1934666Completed August 24.  No major structural findings
Camden5Hurricane Deck1935667Completed August 8.  No major structural findings.
Carroll41Miami1939646Completed August 8.  No new major structural findings.  Repairs scheduled earlier are currently underway.  Scheduled for replacement in the near future.
Holt159Rulo1940545Inspected by Nebraska; no major findings.
Jackson291Liberty Bend1949866Completed July 24, 2007 *.  No major structural findings.
Miller17Tuscumbia1932433Completed September 6.  Severe rusting found; repairs completed.  Bridge will be inspected frequently until it can be replaced beginning in 2010.
Perry51Chester1942546Completed August 22.  Immediate repair work was completed, and additional work is planned. 
Platte69Fairfax1935555Completed August 8.  No major structural findings.
Saline240Glasgow1922646Completed August 16.  No immediate repairs needed, but temporary support was added as a precautionary measure.  This old bridge is inspected frequently as a precaution.  It's scheduled for replacement in the near future.
St. LouisOut. Rd.Times Beach1931533Completed September 18.  Found additional rusting that required limiting traffic to one lane, with a load limit of 10 tons.   This situation has been monitored for some time; eventually the bridge will have to be closed.  Alternate access to the park is available.
St. Louis40Old Daniel Boone1935745Competed August 29.  No immediate concerns, but repairs are needed that will be completed in the next few months. 
St. Louis City799MLK Bridge1951655Inspected by Illinois; no major findings.
Warren47Washington1934536Completed August 9.  Immediate repairs were needed.  The bridge was closed, repaired and reopened to traffic August 12.  40 ton load limit; 30 tons for big trucks.
The Eads Bridge in St. Louis could be considered a deck truss bridge but it is maintained by the City of St. Louis.
*Inspected July 24, 2007 with no major problems noted.  The bridge was extensively repaired in 2002.

Condition is rated on a nine-point scale for the deck (driving surface), superstructure (steel truss and other components supporting the deck), and substructure (piers anchoring the bridge). A nine is the highest rating; anything below a three is closed.


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